Meryl-in-Silkwood-meryl-streep-4552858-640-340This is my debut essay for Slate Book Review on Karina Longworth’s extraordinary critical biography of Meryl Streep and why film acting remains such a mystery to scholars and critics.

“We know that there are processes involved in the creation of a screen performance, but, more often than not, even the process stories we tell about actors are about a kind of prestidigitation—Daniel Day-Lewis becomes possessed by Abraham Lincoln or Charlize Theron disappears within the grotesque visage of a serial killer. We know how acting works, but there is a horizon beyond which the craft remains opaque, even mystical.”

“Disenchantment Artists”